Families attend the Mother’s Day event at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough. Maxen Ryder

The Scarborough Land Trust and Broadturn Farm hosted a Mother’s Day event on May 14 at Broadturn Farm. The event celebrated mothers, nature and farming.

The land trust sold native trees and shrubs at the event, plants adapted to Maine’s environment and growing conditions. The plants provide food and cover to local wildlife. Plants sold included sugar maple, pitch pine, chokeberry, American witch hazel, nannyberry, and more.

Broadturn Farm, Inc. and Rebel Hill Farm sold flowers including fringing bleeding heart, blueflag iris, swamp milkweed, and white snakeroot. Old Wells Farm sold vegetable, flower, and herb seedlings. Other highlights of the event included local artisans, food trucks, nature walks, story time, seed planting, massages.

The Scarborough Land Trust is a community based nonprofit that conserves and maintains natural and agricultural land in the town. The trust currently owns and manages over 1,600 acres.

“The land trust believes that conservation is critical to the health and sustainability of the natural environment in Scarborough,” said the trust’s Conservation Director, Scott Kunkler. “And conservation has a lot of benefits such as protecting wildlife, protecting biodiversity, protecting water resources such as clean drinking water, and water is better cleaned for fishing and for swimming.

“And, also, for the well-being of residents to be able to be outside and walk the trails and be in a natural environment. (Conservation creates) a safe place for them to bring their kids to grow up in an area with woods and streams and marshes and clean air to play in and grow up in. So for all of those reasons, it is critical that conservation be given a priority within the town.”


Those interested in helping out with Scarborough land conservation can visit https://scarboroughlandtrust.org/ to learn more.

“There’s many different ways to get involved in conservation,” Kunkler said. “The land trust, we work only with willing landowners. We have no ability to force people to conserve their land. And so if landowners are interested in conserving their properties and they believe their property is important to conserve within the town, they can reach out to the land trust and we are very happy and willing to talk with them and talk about our conservation priorities and see if their property would be one important to protect and preserve.

“A landowner can protect their land either through selling their property to the land trust or by protecting it through a conservation easement. A conservation easement allows the land owner to still own their land but that it in addition protects it in perpetuity. Basically, it removes any ability to subdivide or build additional houses or any other development on the property. Landowners can also donate to the land trust. Let’s say a landowner does not have a sizeable property or doesn’t want to sell their property or put an easement on it, they can always donate it to the land trust and we would use those funds to help protect other properties within the town.

“Residents can get involved with the land trust by volunteering. So there’s all kinds of opportunities to volunteer with us from not only working on the trails to maintaining the trails but also removing invasive species on the property or even working at the office, helping out with office work, photography, leading educational programs … there are many different types of volunteer work in many different areas of volunteering that we would be interested in talking to folks about.”

Land conservation has recently become a higher priority in Scarborough as available land is running out and town aims for the 30 by 30 initiative, to conserve 30 percent of the town’s land by 2030.

“I would say the land trust is in a great position to conserve land within the town and to increase the amount of conserved properties,” Kunkler said. “We have the infrastructure already in place. We have the expertise and knowledge to connect with willing landowners who are interested in conserving their land. Over the years we have leveraged town dollars to be able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from state and federal grants as well as private foundations and private donations to conserve properties. And over the last year we have doubled our capacity to protect land. The land trust board realized about two years ago that there was probably about ten years left in the town to conserve land, because we felt that after those ten years all the land will either be conserved or developed. And so they made the conscious decision to hire a full time staff member, which is me, conservation director, and my job is to protect and conserve land within the town.”

Kunkler also touched on the importance of stewardship in addition to conservation.

“Not only is it important to conserve property, but it is also important to manage it once it is conserved,” he said. “Because there are a lot of threats to land in the sense that there’s invasive species that need to be removed, the need to protect the biodiversity of a property, there’s trails and public access that need to be maintained, and there’s always opportunities to enhance a property for wildlife habitat. We no longer have an option to fence off a property and consider that conserved, but we actually have to actively manage it in order to protect it for the long term health and sustainability of the property.”

Plants for sale at the event. Maxen Ryder

Byron Hathcock walks into Broadturn Farm for the event. Maxen Ryder

A car parked by the dandelions at Broadturn Farm. Maxen Ryder

Comments are not available on this story.